The Best Acne Serum For Fading Red Acne Marks & Soothing Breakout Prone Skin

acne serum

I first met, Amy Le, founder of You Skincare on Instagram. I knew her then as just @pamperurselfgreen, but now I know her as the woman who has helped radically improve my acne and my perioral dermatitis. Her Clarifying Glow Serum is one of THE BEST acne serums I’ve ever used, and it has even faded my sun damage spots. My skin has an overall evenness to it I haven’t seen in years. Read on my full review of the You Skincare Clarifying Glow Serum and a Q&A with Amy Le on how this chemist struggled and overcame cystic acne, first got into skincare and starting her own skincare line.

Product: You Skincare Clarifying Glow Serum

Skin type: All

Best for: Acne, breakout prone skin

Ingredients: Aloe Juice, Rose Hydrosol, Centella Asiatica Extract, Licorice Root Extract, Willow Bark Extract, Niacinamide, Squalane Oil, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Daisy Flower Extract, N-acetylglucosamine, Glycerin (and) Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate (and) Honeysuckle Flower Extract (and) Honeysuckle Extract (and) Populus Tremuloides Bark Extract (and) Gluconolactone, Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Anisate, Gingko Biloba Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Extract, Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi Leaf Extract, Morus Nigra Leaf Extract, Panthenol, Sodium Lactate, Lactobacillus/Lemon Peel Ferment (and) butylene glycol, Alphas Arbutin, Sea Buckthorn Oil, Rosehip Seed CO2, Cetearyl Alcohol & Glyceryl Stearate & Chlorelleth-20, Dehydroacetic Acid Bencyl Alcohol, Cocumis Sativus Seed Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Oil, Sclerotium Gum.

Review: I will admit, when this product first landed on my doorstep I was skeptical. It was a brand I had never heard of with no big marketing plan, just an unassuming brand made up of two products founded by a little known chemist in Minnesota. 

But to my surprise, this little unknown product has been instrumental in healing my acne, soothing my perioral dermatitis and improving my skin barrier! It is without a doubt one of THE BEST acne serums I have ever used. Within the first few weeks I saw my hyper-pigmentation fade due to the Arbutin, which helps to block melanin synthesis and evens out skin tone while being much safer than hydroquinone (a possible carcinogen)  , my post acne red marks significantly faded, and new breakouts appeared less and less, while the ones I had quickly healed. 

The overall hydration of my skin feels less dehydrated and inflamed due to the Niacinamide (Vitamin B3); a powerful ingredient that helps to strengthen the skin barrier, reduce redness, inflammation and mitigate environmental skin damaged. And is a MUST in my book for anyone dealing with rosacea, perioral dermatitis or acne since it’s essential for combating inflammatory skin issues. 

I’m so impressed with this serum. It’s the right mix of anti-inflammatory and soothing ingredients with a gentle exfoliator to help prevent breakouts and lighteners to fade uneven skin tone. I’m almost down to the last drop and I just ordered another bottle! I plan on using this for a long time. If you’re an acne sufferer, I highly recommend you try this serum!

Texture: The feel can be a little tacky if you use more than one pump, but for dehydrated skin types like myself, the moisture feels welcomed. So far, the large bottle has lasted me about two months and I predict it will run out by the time I reach 2.5 months.

Scent: Faint citrus scent, but very, very light.

Tips: Apply one pump into palm and using fingertips, apply to each area of the face. I have found this method uses less product!

Price: $30-60, 10-30ml –

Q&A with You Skincare founder & Pamper Urself Green beauty blogger, Amy Le.

Why did you decide to create the YOU serum? 

After using so many products trying to heal my acne, my skin still wasn’t where I wanted it to be. I created the Clarifying Glow Serum out of frustration and the desire to heal my own skin. I have a background in science and I love skincare ingredients, so I thought to myself why not? I always made products as a hobby but was never serious about it, then I just decided it was time to put what I studied into action. My acne finally went away when I started using the serum I created. I was so excited! I gave the serum to friends and family. More and more people started asking about it, but I couldn’t give it to everyone. So, after much thought, I decided to make it available to everyone who wanted to buy it.

My line ‘YOU Skincare’ was literally born on Instagram.  People who have followed me from the beginning have witnessed how my line started! I didn’t set out to be a business owner or start my own skincare line.Things just happened!

Image: Amy Le before and after using her You Skincare Clarifying Glow Serum (Image source: Pamper Urself Green)

What skin type is this serum for? And how do the active ingredients improve specific skin issues? 

The Clarifying Glow Serum is for all skin types. It supports skin health in general but acne prone skin types will see the most improvement from it. 

My philosophy regarding skin is that we don’t need to treat our skin with strong acids to have good skin.  All we need is gentle exfoliation to help slough off dead skin and help it turn over faster. Therefore, I included in my serum gentle exfoliating ingredients like willow bark extract and N-acetylglucosamine; N-acetylglucosamine has exfoliating properties similar to AHA and BHA but without the irritation, so it’s good for sensitive and rosacea skin.

In my serum, I combine N-acetylglucosamine with Niacinamide. When combined in certain percentage it has been shown to help with acne and reduce hyperpigmentation.  Niacinamide can also help stimulate collagen synthesis and it’s a great a brightening ingredient.  

There are also a lot of anti-inflammatory ingredients in the serum as well: daisy extract, ginkgo, and camellia extract just to name a few. And panthenol and sodium lactate are also included. They are great at increasing the stratum corneum hydration and reducing TEWL (Transepidermal water loss), which is important for acneic skin since acne is normally due to lack of hydration and damage to the barrier.

Tell me about how you got into skincare? 

I have always liked skincare. I think it’s because of the Asian culture. Asians love light and bright skin. When I was younger my skin was very low maintenance; all I needed was a very basic moisturizer.  I didn’t know what acid was then.  I blissed through high school and college without and never worried about my skin. When I got to college, I started to play more with products. I loved Lancôme products. You would find me almost every weekend at their counter in Macy’s.  In my twenties, I got introduced to K-dramas and you know how Koreans are with their skin! I think that was my downfall. I began playing with too many products and  introducing my skin to strong acids too quickly.  My skin barrier was never the same again and the acne started. I was a beauty junkie before, but I got really serious into studying skin health when someone suggest to me that I should go on Accutane to heal my acne. That wasn’t the route I wanted to take.  And here I am today still crazy over my skin but in a good way.  I want it to be back to its optimal health like it was before I destroyed it. I’ve learned to respect my skin now.

You’ve talked about your issues with acne. How did you solve them? 

When I was bombard with acne I couldn’t stop reading beauty blogs! I tried so many things that I normally would never have tried.  I guess when you’re in a panic you can’t help but try many different things in an attempt to make the acne go away faster. One day, I just had enough. I stopped reading blog posts and began listening to my skin.  When my acne started in my late twenties, the reason was because I played with strong acids, but it was also because it was a stressful time in my life. I began focusing on healing my health and my emotional well being.  As I wrote in a post on how I cleared my acne on my blog, I firmly believe that to have beautiful skin it’s 40% your physical health, 40% of your emotional health and only 20% products.  Products do play a role in keeping skin beautiful but it’s not a must factor.  If you take care of your body and your mind, everything else will fall into place.

What’s one product you can’t live without? 

I can’t live without my Clarifying Glow Serum! Surprise right?! lol

Why did you start your blog? 

During my journey to find a cure for my acne I ran into so much misinformation out there that could easily make acne worse.  That’s why I wanted to post about my acne journey and share my story so people can learn from my mistakes.  I’m still learning everyday and my blog is my place where I share it.

What have you learned from blogging? 

Blogging is hard work and time consuming! I really don’t know how other bloggers are doing it! I truly admires bloggers who can write paint with their words.

What else do you want readers to know?

Don’t be obsessive with your skin and don’t try to do its job.  Skin knows how to do its own thing.  Trust science and nature to keep your skin healthy, you don’t need to choose just one! Not all chemicals are bad just as not all ‘natural’ is good.

Written & Main Image Photographed by Amy Chang, founder + editor